Nicotinic Drug Actions: The Two-sided Blade of Addictive Risk and Therapeutic Potential
Edward D. Levin earned his BA in Psychology at the University of Rochester and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison earned his MS in Physiological Psychology and his PhD in Environmental Toxicology. Ed has worked with a broad range of research approaches to determine the neural systems involved with cognitive function, how this function can go awry and ways by which therapy can help achieve improvement. He began studies of nicotinic involvement in cognitive function at UCLA in collaboration with Jed Rose, Murray Jarvik, Larry Butcher and Gaylord Ellison. Ed moved to Duke University in 1989 and expanded his research to include clinical, transgenic mouse and developmental zebrafish studies. In clinical studies together with Jed Rose, Joe McEvoy, Keith Conners, Heidi White, Paul Newhouse and Ken Kellar, he has shown that nicotinic skin patch treatment improves attention function in people with ADHD, schizophrenia, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer¿s disease. At Duke, Ed has continued his work with rats in basic studies using local infusions of specific nicotinic, dopaminergic and glutaminergic antagonists to identify cortical, hippocampal, amygdalar, thalamic and brainstem interactions and memory function. With this integrated approach he aims to help develop a better understanding the neurobehavioral mechanisms of cognitive function and how we can develop better therapies to overcome these impairments.